Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The Manly Sea Eagles return to the top of the table after defeating the New Zealand Warriors 20 to 14 in a scrappy encounter at Mount Smart Stadium.
It was a match defined by wayward passes and loose carries of the ball as both teams struggled to hold possession and capitalise on attacking field position. Manly grinded out a win as they were disallowed three tries by Video Referee Graeme West.
In a clash that saw the best attack in the NRL (Manly) line up against the worst defence (NZ) there was every indication that this match would be a one-sided affair. However it was the Warriors that opened the scoring in the 14th minute thanks to a dashing sixty-metre effort to Manu Vatuvei. After receiving a short ball from Jerome Ropati that appeared to travel forward Vatuvei found some space and made Manly pay as he fended away from David Williams and Brett Stewart to score.
The Sea Eagles hit back soon-after through Brett Stewart as he finished off a simple second-man play. Just before the halftime break Manly looked to go ahead but Michael Robertson was robbed of a four-pointer by Video Ref Graeme West as he was ruled to go into touch before getting the ball down in the corner. In a half where there were no real standouts the Warriors went into halftime leading 6-4.
Manly returned from the halftime break confident they could come away with a win and they helped their cause seven minutes in as Glenn Stewart touched down. Just when it looked like Manlys